Arriving at the restaurant where we had lunch yesterday, we thought we'd be gate crashing a wedding. Outside stood the usual wedding giveaway - a car overdone in flowers. Except, that on closer inspection, the number plate never read 'just married' but displayed the name of one 12-year-old boy who, we were soon to discover, had just received his First Communion at church.
Now, before you start throwing your hands up in the air about the amount of money that goes into something like this, let me assure you that this is not the done thing - not even in Lebanon, where everyone likes to outdo the other. I checked with my cousins. They do as we do back home - invite the family over for lunch or go out for a meal with just the immediate family after the church service. As it turns out, Gilbert's family is so grateful to have him still with them after a terrible illness, that they decided to throw him a massive, wedding-like bash, complete with a zaffe (a troupe of dancers that usually accompanies the bride and groom into the reception venue), two massive cakes, gifts for the 100 guests and a live singer (who was more like a shouter than a singer, leaving us unable to converse around out own lunch table). Nevertheless, it was a quite sight for all of us to witness!
The cake (well, one of two).
The guests' gifts.
The man of the moment arrives with the zaffe dancers, drummers and sword fighters.
... and the party begins.